The Dream of a Managed DesktopBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
Intel's unique vPro technology offers increased functionality to solution providers.Often thought of as a marketing buzz word akin to Centrino and ViiV, Intel's vPro processor technology brings a lot more opportunity to solution providers than many realize.
What makes vPro unique is that the management technology is built into the hardware and the fact that it does not rely on a software component or additional hardware to be effective. In other words, if you're selling the latest generation of Intel business-class motherboards, you are already equipping your customers with the foundation for remote desktop management.
For solution providers, the key term to know here is "out of band management." Why is that term so important? It all comes down to how a managed PC (or server) can be accessed. Out of band management has its roots in another term, LOM (lights out management), a technology that allows an administrator to manage a PC, even when it is turned off.
While vPro may sound perfect, there are some caveats. First, since the technology can only be fully leveraged in a Windows environment, those supporting Macs, Sun Workstations and, in some cases, Linux will have to look elsewhere.
Also, there is the specter of competition from tier one manufactures, especially Dell following its recent acquisition of SilverBack. Now that Dell's technologies are married to vPro technology it allows the company to offer managed PC services. Only time will tell if Dell can pull that off and get the SME market to trust them.
Also, solution providers need to be aware of the infrastructure requirements associated with vPro. That infrastructure can consist of something as simple as a VPN into a customer's network or be as advanced as a hosted management platform from the likes of Level Platforms.
While the overall future of vPro may be somewhat uncertain, solution providers can be sure that the managed desktop has arrived and is here to stay.